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Hal Kibbey
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2003

IUB's Kirkwood Observatory open to the public every Wednesday night

The newly renovated Kirkwood Observatory on Indiana University's Bloomington campus is open for public viewing through the 12-inch telescope each Wednesday evening, beginning when the sky is dark. No reservations are required, and admission is free. The observatory is located a short distance east of the intersection of Fourth Street and Indiana Avenue.

The objects in the night sky available for viewing depend on the season and usually include the bright planets, star clusters and the moon, when they are visible. The open house is not held if the sky is mostly or completely cloudy.

The observatory is not open during the winter months between Thanskgiving and spring break. Also, the observatory is not available during weeks when classes are not in session because of semester breaks or vacations.

Kirkwood Observatory was constructed in 1900 and dedicated on May 15, 1901. IU President Joseph Swain spoke about his teacher and mentor, Daniel Kirkwood, for whom Kirkwood Hall and Kirkwood Avenue also were named. Kirkwood's research on comets, meteors and asteroids established a tradition of astronomical research at Indiana University.

For more information about viewing the sky through the observatory's telescope, contact the IU Department of Astronomy at 812-855-6911 or